Weather delays carrier load

HUGE Sections of the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier at Portsmouth Naval Base
HUGE Sections of the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier at Portsmouth Naval Base

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BAD weather led BAE Systems to delay loading the second part of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier in Portsmouth yesterday.

The second half of a stern block of HMS Queen Elizabeth was due to be rolled out of the dockyard on to a barge in a repeat of last Sunday’s load out.

But forecasts for 60-knot winds and heavy rain meant the 1,000-tonne section of the stern, known as Lower Block 05, is now likely be moved out on Friday morning.

That would leave two days to get it welded into place on the barge before it sets sail for Rosyth on Sunday, when it is scheduled to pass the Round Tower at 2pm.

BAE’s project leader Paul Bowsher said: ‘We don’t want to leave it any later than Friday.’